Filmsite Movie Review
Body Heat (1981)
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Body Heat (1981) is a dramatic, modern day film noir, patterned after The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946). It was set in the hot atmosphere of Miranda Beach, Florida.

The sexy suspense thriller featured the following descriptive poster tagline:

It's a hot summer.
Ned Racine is waiting for
something special to happen.

And when it does...

He won't be ready for the consequences.

The subtitle was: "As the temperature rises, the suspense begins."

The Story

The alluring, crafty, and sultry femme fatale "Matty Walker" (Kathleen Turner, who spoofed her own role in The Man With Two Brains (1983)) seduces corruptible, dim-witted, naive, and incompetent attorney Ned Racine (William Hurt), to convince him to kill her husband Edmund (Richard Crenna).

She is interested in Ned as her accomplice because he isn't very intelligent:

You're not too smart, are you? I like that in a man.

She uses everything as an instrument of seduction, including incredibly sweaty and sexy love-making and lewd suggestive dialogue, to manipulate his emotions so that he will help plot the murder:

  • "Do it!"
  • "I need you so badly."
  • "I want you right now more than I ever have!"
  • "I'd kill myself if I thought this thing would destroy us."

He complains:

  • "I'm red; I'm sore."
  • "You shouldn't wear that body!"

After the murder, Ned learns from cop Oscar Grace (J. A. Preston) that Matty is a suspect and that he should stay away from her:

She's trouble, Ned. Real big-time major-league trouble.

The plot twist at the conclusion is a knockout surprise. "Matty" is killed in an explosion (identified by dental records) and Ned is imprisoned for the murder.

He looks in Matty's high school yearbook and finds that she is, in reality, Mary Ann Simpson, and her ambition was: "To be rich and live in an exotic land," a wish that is fulfilled in the last image of "Matty" lying on a beach somewhere in an exotic land.